Washington, DC — Speaking on the third anniversary of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, Democratic Senators Joe Biden, Jack Reed, and Bob Menendez today called for better priorities to ensure real security for America.
The recent revelation of a White House deal to give control of our ports to Dubai is only the latest in a long list of examples of the Bush Administration’s misplaced priorities. Three years after the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the Bush Administration still has not done enough to protect the nation, refusing even to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Katrina proved just how ill-prepared the department and the government as a whole actually are to respond to a major catastrophe.
“Most Americans believe that at least the most obvious steps have been taken to close the gaps in our homeland defense. They believe that at the very least, our government has a plan, that we’ve set priorities, and that we know what the next step will be. But the 9/11 Commission Report makes it clear that we are not ready, that this Administration does not have a plan,” said Biden. “Democrats have offered concrete initiatives to close our biggest security loopholes. It is time we act on these plans and make the country safer.”
Senator Jack Reed stated, “It has been three years since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and yet the Department continues to suffer from miscommunication and misdirected funding priorities. I remain deeply concerned, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and numerous independent reports like the 911 Commission’s, that the department is not prepared. The Administration’s plan to reduce the number of troops serving in our National Guard will only exacerbate the preparedness issues faced by the Department of Homeland Security. Such a proposal is all the more disheartening in light of the unprecedented numbers of National Guard troops currently serving overseas.”
“For five years, the Bush administration has refused to adequately secure our ports, and now they want to let a company owned by a foreign government take control of operations at them. For all their talk, it is the Bush administration that has been stuck in a pre-9/11 mentality,” said Senator Bob Menendez
Democrats are calling for reform, accountability, and oversight to ensure that the government provides for real security for America. Three years after the Department Homeland Security Department’s founding, we can still do better to protect the nation.